What is Society?

Society emerged in the fifteenth century. The word society is derived from the Latin societas, which means a friendly association, or a companion, comrade, or business partner. To understand human interaction, we need to know about society. Here are some definitions and key terms. Norms, Social capital, Citizenship, and Rights are some of the concepts that underpin society. These concepts are interrelated, and we need to understand how each of them contribute to human well-being.


Societies are built on norms. People follow these to fulfill societal needs and maintain social order. These norms are considered the ‘rules’ of human behavior. Norms also help individuals maintain self-control and discipline. They give society a coherent structure. However, societal norms aren’t universal. Societies have different definitions of value. Some are cultural and some are not. The difference in value depends on the context of the situation and the norms.

Social capital

While the concept of social capital is useful for the study of social inequality, it is not comprehensive enough to encompass all factors that contribute to well-being and inequality. For example, the story of Kay touches on issues such as crime, drugs, community services, employment, and cultural differences, but does not examine all of these factors at once. It also touches on the question of how the current service structures and indicators of social capital are constructed. It is important to remember that the concept of social capital is an evolving one.


A common conception of citizenship is that citizens are responsible for their behavior and should respect others. But there are different levels of citizen responsibility and this varies with each individual. Citizenship competences can be defined as knowledge, attitudes, skills, and reflection. Knowledge includes understanding the workings of a democratic society, civic responsibility, and civic participation. Attitudes include understanding and recognizing the importance of respecting different viewpoints and participating in community organizations. Skills include relating to different people and understanding the ways in which government agencies work.


What are rights? Rights are ethical and legal principles that define what a person is entitled to. They are the fundamental rules that govern what we are allowed and owe others. They have been a key concept in law and ethics, theories of justice and deontology, political science, and philosophy. Let’s look at some of these rights and their interrelationships. What is the role of rights in society? How do they work?


DePauw’s minor in Ethics in Society fosters critical thinking, discernment, and empathy. With its emphasis on societal issues and global issues, this minor plays a vital role in preparing students to be world leaders. It examines character traits, actions, policies, and institutions, and permeates all kinds of professional practice. Students will learn how to apply ethical reasoning to real-world situations. Here are some examples of ethical issues that can be discussed in the classroom:

Subsistence strategies

While some researchers argue that human subsistence strategies are shaped by local circumstances and events, others claim that they follow global patterns. These patterns are often related to political complexity, environmental conditions, and the strategies used by nearby groups. Regardless of the cause, some findings are consistent across cultures. Listed below are some of the most common subsistence strategies used by human societies. If you are interested in learning more about these strategies, please consider the following points.

Population growth

The Malthusian perspective on population growth has been revived by economists and writers. Malthus was concerned with the consequences of rapid growth of the human population. The economic benefits of population growth are used to create better health and lower mortality. Nevertheless, the Malthusian consequences of population growth are not a foregone conclusion. The pressure built into reward systems can lead to changes in behavior, which can help slow the rate of population growth.

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